Morgan Beaumont Hires Usher Card Exec

Florida-based prepaid card specialist, Morgan Beaumont, has hired Scott Matthews, former founder and CEO of Platinum Financial Group, as VP/Business Development. At Platinum, he launched the “Usher Success” MasterCard card. Matthews also founded International Gateway Exchange, a technology company that developed and marketed the “UTA Cash Card”. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Florida State University. Morgan Beaumont, Inc. is a provider of stored value and debit card solutions.

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LLOYDS & AMEX

Lloyds TSB has teamed with American Express to issue its own range of credit cards utilizing the American Express Network in the UK. Lloyds will create the products, issue the cards and manage the customer accounts, billing and credit management. The first in this new line of credit cards will launch later this quarter. Lloyds will introduce a new rewards program that enables cardholders to earn points that can be redeemed for vouchers at some of the UK’s leading retailers. The new card will also provide exclusive access to unique benefits offered by American Express, including special merchant offers and global customer support. Lloyds TSB has 16 million customers, over 2,000 branches and, more than 6 million credit card customers.

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AmEx Survey Sees a Big Uptick in Biz Travel

American Express has released a new “Global Business Traveler Survey” of more than 1000 business travelers which shows that 86 percent of business travelers expect to see an increase in business trips over the next year. The survey also found that while a majority of business travelers are comfortable with their personal safety and security while traveling, they valued security assurances such as online visa/passport support and travelers insurance. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. recorded $18 billion in worldwide travel sales in 2004.

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Indian Airlines and Citibank Offer EMIs

Indian Airlines and Citibank have teamed to offer an equated monthly installment program. Consumers can make payments in ten interest free “EMIs.” The EMI tickets can only be purchased through Indian Airlines offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. The deferred payment option is available for any Indian Airlines or Alliance Air Domestic/International economy class service on a rupee tariff.

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Toyota Gears Up for a Lexus VISA Launch

Toyota’s Lexus Financial Services is launching its first-ever Lexus credit card in June. The “Lexus Pursuits VISA” will award cardholders 1.5 points for every $1 of net purchases and 5 points for every $1 of net purchases at a Lexus dealership. The awards can be redeemed for a maximum of a 10% discount on a new Lexus and can also be used toward parts, service and boutique items at a Lexus dealership. Cardholders may also choose to opt for the “Lexus Pursuits Travel Program” and redeem points for airline travel. Executives say the new card is aimed at rewarding existing Lexus customers and bringing new customers into the Lexus family. Toyota launched the Lexus brand in 1989.

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Business Travelers Favor Rewards Programs

American Express Business Travel’s new Global Business Traveler Survey reveals that business travelers have a wide range of preferences and perspectives on topics ranging from the value of rewards programs to the components that comprise an ideal business trip. The majority of survey participants take advantage of reward programs
when traveling for business. When it comes to the types of programs they
utilize, 63% participate in frequent flyer programs with
airlines, with a high of 83% in the U.S. and 80% in
Canada. France has the lowest rate of participation in frequent flyer
programs, at 44%. The most preferred types of rewards are airline
tickets (67%), followed by hotel stay (52%) and car rental (36%).
The findings came from a survey of more than 1000 business travelers in ten countries around the world.

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M&S BLACK CARD

Marks and Spencer Money has rolled-out a new black credit card. The “&MORE Black MasterCard” replaces M&S Money’s existing “&MORE” card launched in September 2003. The “Marks & Spencer Money &more Credit Card” offers 1 point per GBP1 spent in Marks & Spencer UK stores, catalogue and Internet. The card also awards 1 point per GBP2 spent outside Marks & Spencer. The card offers points and a variable rate of 15.9%. The card also offers a 0% intro interest on purchases for nine months as well as a 0% APR on balance transfers.

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PSCU’s CURewards Tops 1MM Cardholders

FL-based PSCU Financial Services reports that its cardholder loyalty program has topped one million cardholders. The “CURewards” loyalty program is offered as part of the companyâ™s “CreditAbility” and “DebitAdvantage” processing platforms. Credit union card programs with “CURewards” provide credit and debit cardholders the opportunity to earn points which can be redeemed for more than 500 items of brand name merchandise, as well as travel options that include cruises and weekend getaways as well as hotel and car rentals. As part of the “CURewards” program, PSCU has also funded a sweepstakes promotion. PSCU is owned by more than 500 member credit unions nationwide and represents more than 8 million cardholder accounts.

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